Landscape Photography is Frustrating


Stones at Padley Gorge. Fuji XT1 + 16-55 lens.
Stones at Padley Gorge. Fuji XT1 + 16-55 lens.

I mentioned on Friday’s blog post that I was heading out for an early morning shoot the following day. At the time the weather forecast appeared to be little hit or miss. The intention was to shoot Winnats Pass in the Peak District. I was meeting a couple of friends there and to be honest the weather conditions on the drive over had me feeling hopeful. Unfortunately, within 2 miles of my destination I hit a fog bank but I wasn’t to be deterred.

Meeting up we decided to press on as the pass is high and the Hope Valley often fills with fog at this time of year. This can give rise to a cloud inversion where you find yourself looking out across a sea of cloud. The first challenge though was finding our way. I had never been to this location and my friends had only been once before. If you add to this the dark and thick fog, you should be able to guess that we got lost trying to cross a field. Eventually we did find the path and emerged onto the head of the pass. The view that greeted us was dull and foggy.

Rather than share one of my images with you, here’s a link to another photographer’s website. This is what it should have looked like.

http://www.jamespictures.co.uk/ngg_tag/winnats-pass/

If the sun did come up on that morning, we missed it.

Eventually we cut our losses. Regrouping we gathered our thoughts with a cup a tea and cooked breakfast. This is when we decided to try Padley Gorge in the Peaks.  The water and trees might prove quite evocative in the mist. Again, luck was against us as the fog cleared by the time we arrived, leaving us with a dull and overcast sky.

The image you see at the top of the post was taken in the gorge where there’s an old quarry. For those of you who don’t know, the round stones in the image are millstones. The gritstone in the area was perfect for making these and you can find millstones in many locations throughout the Peak District. They are a sort of icon of the area. My intention had been to shoot the image for B&W conversion given it was still too early for autumn colour. Having now seen the colour and B&W together, I do prefer the colour image, I think. Here’s the B&W version in case you’re interested.

Stones at Padley Gorge. B&W conversion.
Stones at Padley Gorge. B&W conversion.

In the end we gave up at around 13:00 and by the time I had driven home (about 50 minutes), the weather was glorious. As I said, landscape photography is frustrating.

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4 thoughts on “Landscape Photography is Frustrating

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  1. Thanks, Robin, I really like the image of the millstones!
    I share your thoughts about the frustrations of landscape photography. We’ve all been through it, so it makes that wonderful light and magnificent views very special. Last month I was on a six-day landscape photography workshop on the island of Skye, with two extra days in Glencoe. Of twelve planned morning and evening shoots on Skye, only five had decent light. For the remainder, we dealt with rain, wind, cold, fog, and overcast skies. Glencoe was a total disaster—we had planned a late-day and morning shoot, but it poured the entire time we were there. Oh well, I’ve still ended up with a few very good images, so I won’t complain. Keeps one coming back. Cheers! Bob

    1. Thanks Bob, I’m pleased you like the image. There wasn’t much to be salvaged from the day. Your trip to Skye sounds quite similar to my last trip there. I stayed close to the Talisker distillery. It rained every day for 2 weeks solid. There were a couple of breaks in the weather but very little photography. As you say, it keeps us coming back. We would probably give up if it were easy.

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